The power of social media: manufacturing stories

Manufacturers have an amazing opportunity to tell stories and create compelling content throughout the customer lifecycle, says The Manufacturer’s digital strategist, Hayden Richards.

Hayden Richards, digital native & growth hacker, The Manufacturer
Hayden Richards, digital native & growth hacker, The Manufacturer

With a well thought out plan, you can promote thought leadership at the personal and corporate level, identify and encourage conversations, showcase your products or quite simply tell a story.

To get started, you have to know your target audience. Identifying your audience’s sweet-spot will be critical to building credibility.

You can achieve this by using content discovery tools such as BuzzSumo (@BuzzSumo), a cloud platform that trawls the web for content based on niche queries, and returns interesting data that you can leverage.

I have also been testing Right Relevance (@rightrelevance) which is currently still in beta but definitely worth your time. Right Relevance offers large scale topical influence/expertise mining using social data.

According to Insideview, B2B firms that blog generate 67% more leads per month than their competitors. Eighty-percent of CEO’s/ decision-maker types prefer to get company information via a series of articles, not via advertising mediums or cold calls.

In fact, research tells us that potential customers will independently seek out content from various sources.

You obviously need to create multiple sources of content for distribution. All of this suggests a need for a data driven approach to content generation. Follow the data-driven journalistic process: Data-Filter-Visualise-Story.

In-house, your firm will need to utilise technologies concerning:

  1. Social media listening
  2. Google/content analytics
  3. Content marketing platform
  4. Marketing automation

To tie it all together you will need to constantly test and refine, bearing in mind the best technology still needs creativity to drive it forward. After all, who wants to consume low value content that isn’t stackable and sharable?